Would you wear a Garmin watch that shared sleep data with your friends?

Happy man sleeping wearing sports watch
(Image credit: Getty)

Adding friends on Garmin Connect lets you share your workout data for likes and comments, but what if you could also share your sleep history, letting your buddies see how late you stayed up, how much REM you got, and whether you really got up at 6am like you intended?

That's exactly what smart ring company Oura introduced last week, letting you invite up to 10 close friends and family members to pore over your sleep info and readiness data.

As Wareable writer James Stables explains, until now, Oura has lacked any way to share stats with others, but has now introduced a social tool, Oura Circles, as a means of tackling "an epidemic of loneliness". According to the Oura blog, it's all very friendly and positive. If you notice a friend's readiness score dropping, you could given them a call to check how they're doing. If another contact starts getting more restful sleep, you can leave them a message to say congratulations.

Oura's main aim is to help you balance activity with rest, so it's a natural fit. When I tested the third-generation ring for Advnture's sister site TechRadar, I was particularly impressed by its ability to detect the difference between going to bed and actually falling asleep. I also appreciated its ability to record naps and factor them into your recovery stats.

Garmin hasn't expressed any interest in bringing a similar scheme to its own wellness app yet, but it's easy to see how it could be implemented, letting you choose whether you want to share your sleep data with connections and having their nightly stats appear in your feed alongside their workouts.

To give things a more competitive edge, you might even be able to earn badges for feats like getting to bed on time every day for a week or more, getting a solid eight hours of rest, showing improvement in your sleep hygiene, or getting enough rest to properly recover from your last gym session.

So would you do it, or would having your friends check your sleep patterns just give you restless nights?

Gentle peer pressure

Personally, I think it could work quite well. I have a habit of going to bed much too late, and a little gentle peer pressure can be a powerful motivator. If my friends from my running club see me regularly staying up past 12pm on a weekday, they might give me a nudge to do better in future.

Then there are the badges, Some Garmin users, me included, are suckers for these little graphics and the points associated with them, even though they don't actually do or mean anything in practical terms. The prospect of moving up to the next level a bit sooner could also be enough to make me get a proper 40 winks.

Of course, if gamified sleep isn't for you, you'd always be able to opt out and keep your nocturnal stats to yourself, but it's an interesting idea, particularly if you follow Oura researcher Sofia Strömmer's advice on keeping things positive.

"When people share data with you, treat it with the utmost respect and compassion," she advises. "Take care not to criticize someone about low scores, and don’t hassle them about their habits. Instead try to convey a supportive relationship." 

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.